Literature

Suffering in a Sentimental Age

Flannery O’Connor, who died fifty years ago this year aged only thirty-nine, knew much about suffering as a result of the serious medical problems that constrained her brief life, yet she could still write: People’s suffering tears us up now in a way that in a healthier age it did not. And of course everybody weeps over loneliness. It is practically a disease. The particular ways O’Connor thought the modern age was unhealthy are found in her selected correspondence, The Habit of Being. It is also possible to chart her medical history from her correspondence, but this is a matter…

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